FORECASTS are suggesting an increase in swell for the first week of the bcu Australian Surf Festival starting in Coffs Harbour this weekend.

More than 500 surfers from around this wide brown land will head down to meet on water for almost three weeks of fun, friendship and hardcore competitive surfing.

By the time August 17 rolls around, national titles will have been decided in Open Surf Masters, Longboard, Logger and Bodyboard divisions.

Contest director Glen Elliott said favourable conditions were forecast for the early stages of the festival with the Coffs Harbour region capable of accommodating a host of different conditions.

"The 2015 bcu Australian Surf Festival is set to be the biggest surfing competition ever to be held in Australia," Glen said.

"The wave rich Coffs Harbour Bananacoast will host our national titles again and I am looking forward to quality waves and conditions that were so prevalent last year.

"An increase in swell is expected through the first week of the event and we have favourable offshore winds and tides to kick-start this year's program with the Open Men and Women Shortboard Surfmasters divisions set to hit the waves on the weekend."

Coffs Harbour is home to a number of great beach break options that work in a variety of wind and swell conditions.

The main base for the event will be Park Beach, which for visitors new to the region is the suburb located north east of the Coffs Harbour CBD.

The event is fully mobile with numerous beach break options, including Park Beach, Macauleys Beach, Diggers Beach, Jetty Beach, Gallows, Arrawarra Beach, Mulloway Beach, Woolgoolga Beach, Emerald Beach and Sapphire Beach.

Tournament sponsor bcu will also be providing a $100 bank account for the #bcumoneyturn, which will be awarded daily to the surfer who executes the biggest turn as determined by the judges.

A hotline - 0458 247 212 0458 247 212 - will be operating for the festival and will feature a recorded message updated at 6.45am each morning with the confirmed daily schedule and contest venue.

Full details, the latest news, videos and galleries can be found at http://www.australiansurffestival.com

Coffs Harbour City Council Mayor Denise Knight said the region was the ideal location to host the festival.

"I have the pleasure of living in the most beautiful city in NSW with its glorious beaches, this festival will bring vibrancy and activity to our pristine beaches from Arrawarra in the north to Sawtell in the south," Cr Knight said.

"It's a wonderful way to showcase our city, and of course our beaches, by welcoming with open arms the 500 competitors, their families and their friends who will be visiting our region over those three weeks."



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